Košutnikov Turn (Koschutnikturm) is the highest summit along the Košuta ridge in the Karawanks mountain range in the Slovenian Alps.
The 10-km-long Košuta ridge is the longest mountain in Slovenia and forms part of the natural border between Austria and Slovenia.
While it’s possible to ascend to Košutnikov Turn from both countries, it’s far more accessible from the Slovenian side.
From the north (Austria), you can reach the peak via a Klettersteig (via ferrata) trail. From the south (Slovenia), you can hike to the summit along a regular hiking trail.
We hiked to Košutnikov Turn from the Slovenian side, starting at Planina Dolga Njiva, a mountain dairy on the slopes of the Košuta ridge.
This post outlines our loop trail and everything you need to know about how to get to the trailhead, where to eat, and where to stay.
Planina Dolga Njiva and Košutnikov Turn Day Hike
- Mountain Range: Karawanks (also spelled Karavankas and Karavanks)
- Trailhead: Parking area below Planina Dolga Njiva (35 min drive from Tržič) | Google Maps
- Distance: 7.5 km lollipop circuit
- Time Needed: 4:30 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 944 m
- Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
- Minimum Elevation: 1276 m
- Maximum Elevation: 2133 m
- When to Hike: Mid-June – Mid-September, when Planina Dolga Njiva is open.
- Where to Stay: Apartma Jelendol (budget), Štorman Tourist Farm Apartments (midrange), or Glamping Mountain Fairy Tale (luxuy) in Tržič
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Košutnikov Turn Hiking Map
How to Get to the Košutnikov Turn Trailhead
Drive to the town of Tržič in Northern Slovenia. From Tržič, you’ll drive through the Dovžan Gorge to Jelendol village, following the Tržič Bistrica river.
After driving through Jelendol, the road divides. Stay to the right and continue on the unpaved road for another 9 km.
When you reach the first intersection, turn left in the direction of “Planina Dolga Njiva.” At the second crossroads, make a right, again following signs towards “Dolga Njiva” and “Planšarija.”
The designated parking lot is marked with a large blue “P” sign. There’s no parking fee.
The drive from Tržič to the trailhead takes 35-40 minutes.
Košutnikov Turn Route Description
Hike to Planina Dolga Njiva (20 minutes)
From the parking area, there’s a red-painted waymark and an arrow pointing you in the direction of “Kosut. Turn”.
Follow the direction of the arrow, taking the upper track. Soon you’ll see an almost hidden wooden sign indicating 20 minutes to Dolga Njiva and 2 hours to Košutnikov Turn.
As you ascend, the footpath is at first very obvious. After crossing a wooden platform bridge, the trail seems to diverge in a few directions.
Maintain the same direction, staying on the “Pastirska pot” trail and you’ll soon enter Planina Dolga Njiva.
Planina Dolga Njiva to Košuta ridge (1:15 hours)
When you enter the pasture area, the beautiful Košuta ridge towers above the sloping pasture.
Before reaching the Dolga Njiva pasture hut, there’s a signed intersection. To start the hike to Košutnikov Turn, turn left (signed 1 hr 30 min).
Soon, you’ll cross a pasture fence and then hike through the forest. A few minutes later, you’ll make a sharp right, when you see the red trail sign to Košutnikov Turn.
This part of the trail is defined by tight, steep hairpins. You’ll ascend quickly through the forest and then up a grassy slope.
When you emerge above the timberline, you’ll continue to hike up and across a steep mountain slope. This is treacherous after rainfall, or in rain.
The views get increasingly more exciting.
At first, you’ll see the ever-present Storžic, the highest mountain in the western part of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps. Later on, more of the Kamnik range is visible.
Ultimately the trail levels out for a while, bringing you below Košutnikov Turn.
This easy stretch ends abruptly, when the trail steers left, ascending steeply to the ridge.
Read Next: Best Hikes in Slovenia
Košuta ridge to Košutnikov Turn (15 minutes)
From the ridge, the dizzying views towards Austria are impressive, if not spine-tingling.
A sign indicates 15 minutes to Košutnikov Turn. This final stretch to the summit requires a bit of scrambling and caution.
Košutnikov Turn to Planina Dolga Njiva (1:45 minutes)
The loop trail continues from the summit south-east. Initially, it’s very steep and you need to concentrate on each step you take.
After descending 190 meters, the trail continues left, crossing through the rocky towers above the planina. Keep your eyes out for chamois.
Though the trail isn’t difficult, it’s very narrow at times, running above precipices in some places.
The descent becomes increasingly easier with time. You’ll hike through dwarf pine and ultimately emerge at the upper part of the Dolga Njiva pasture.
When you get to the meadow, head right, following the dirt road to the Dolga Njiva dairy farm (20 min).
Eat Lunch at Planina Dolga Njiva
Dolga Njiva is a very special place. In summer, the pasture hut is surrounded by enclosures of pigs, bunnies, turkeys, chickens, donkeys, sheep, and cows.
You can eat a traditional Slovenian lunch here.
Because there wasn’t a menu and our comprehension was limited, we simply ordered one of everything. We ate:
- Štruklji – traditional dough roll filled with a cottage cheese filling. Sugar and cinnamon on the side.
- Ajdovi Žganci – buckwheat spoon bread, or buckwheat porridge, served with pork cracklings.
- Kranjska klobasa & Kislo Zelje – Carniolan sausage served with Sauerkraut
- Kislo Mleko – Sour Milk
Where to Stay
The best place to stay for exploring the Košuta ridge and the Karawanks is the village of Tržič. We stayed at Štorman Tourist Farm Apartments (midrange).
Glamping | Glamping Mountain Fairy Tale are air-conditioned glamping cabins in Bistrica pri Tržiču. Each unit features kitchenettes and private bathrooms. Hot tubs are available at an extra charge with prior notice. Breakfast is included. And, you can rent bikes on-site.
Look for accommodation in Tržič.
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Slovenia Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Slovenia Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip.
When to Visit Slovenia
Summer and Fall Seasons. The best time to travel to Slovenia is between May and October.
The best time to hike in the Slovenian Alps is between June and October. For hut-to-hut hiking, we recommend planning your trek between early July and mid-September.
Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit Slovenia is between mid/late December and March.
It’s possible to visit Slovenia without a car if you want to concentrate your time in Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and Lake Bohinj.
When we visited without a car, we planned two linear hut to hut hikes.
Unless you’re trekking, we recommend renting a car, because many places are simply not accessible with transit. For example, there are no buses to Logar Valley, Vrata Valley, the Košuta mountain pastures, and the Debela Pec trailhead.
Check out our itineraries for road trip inspiration:
Use the intuitive Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.
Where to Stay
We’ve summarized our favorite destinations and accommodations in Best Paces to Stay in Slovenia, including Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Logar Valley, Kranjka Gora, and Kobarid.
Top Things to Do
- Summit Mount Triglav.
- Eat Štruklji Borovničevi at Kofce Mountain Hut.
- Trek across Triglav National Park along this epic 4-day Triglav National Park Trek.
- Visit an alpine dairy like Koča na planini Dolga njiva.
- Stay in a farm stay like Tourist Farm Šenkova domačija in Zgornje Jezersko.
- Swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Bohinj.
- Watch the sunrise at Mala Osojnica, overlooking Lake Bled.
- Hike to the Kamnik Saddle.
- Glamp in a treehouse like Ribno Alpine Glamping.
- Uncover hidden gems like Solčava panoramic road.
Slovenia Packing List
- Lonely Planet Slovenia
- DK Eyewitness Slovenia
- Rick Steves Croatia & Slovenia
- The Julian Alps of Slovenia: Mountain Walks and Short Treks
- Trekking in Slovenia: The Slovene High Level Route
- Trekking Slovenia’s Juliana Trail: Three-week trek: Bled, Triglav and the Julian Alps
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle
Outdoor Photography Gear
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
Slovenia Hiking Guides
Slovenia is heaven on earth for hikers. We recommend allocating sufficient time to discover both the Julian Alps and the Kamnik Savinja Alps.
In Best Hikes in Slovenia, we’ve summarized the most thrilling day hikes and multi-day hikes across the Slovenian Alps, ranked by difficulty.
If you’re interested in hut-to-hut hiking, read our guide to Slovenian Mountain Huts and Hut-to-Hut Hiking in Slovenia.